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Wild Turkey Takeover Has Staten Island Neighborhood Fed Up With City Dragging Their Feet

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – More turkey troubles on Staten Island have residents fed up.

Neighbors in Dongan Hills have been seeing a lot of the wild birds lately and they say it's only getting worse.

With wild turkeys gobbling their way through gardens, plus trotting and leaving droppings all over with their little ones, they've become the next door neighbors nobody wanted.

Staten Island Turkeys
Turkeys overrun Dongan Hills neighborhood on Staten Island. (credit: Natalie Duddridge/CBS2)

"She scratches at the lawn and she poops all over the place I don't know what she's been eating," homeowner Susan Fennimore said.

"The mom has been digging around and chewing around on whatever she can," Elizabeth Fennimore added. "And the poop all around is a problem because there's a lot of it."

The latest feathered fiend to move in – a big mama bird and her seven babies nesting right in the Fennimore family's front lawn on Delaware Street.

"Eventually it'll become a problem for the people who live in the neighborhood if this group of birds gets bigger and for the other pets who live in this neighborhood. It's not safe for them," Elizabeth told CBS2's Reena Roy.

The Fennimores said after spotting the new tenants Thursday, they reached out to the city for help but they've only gotten the runaround.

"Nothing ever gets done with anything," Susan claimed. "I'm tired of it."

It's a similar situation to one back in March, when CBS2 cameras spotted the wild birds seemingly everywhere in the same neighborhood – in trees, on rooftops, and even power lines.

Last year, a turkey also laid 18 eggs under a homeowner's bush. People now wondering what city officials are doing on their end to help New Yorkers.

"We're not seeing any decrease in animals, we're seeing an increase," Elizabeth said.

A spokesperson for local councilman Steven Matteo said their office secured $200,000 in city funds last year to remove the turkeys from this area and take them to an upstate sanctuary. They told CBS2 now they're just waiting on a permit from the state.


So what's the hold up?

New York's Department of Environmental Conservation claims staff recently inspected that turkey sanctuary and they're still reviewing the report before approving the move.

In the meantime residents can get their own one-time permit and pay a wildlife expert to remove those pesky peckers from their properties or they'll simply just have to keep their distance.

Officials say in recent years, the same upstate sanctuary has captured and transferred more than 150 turkeys to their grounds.

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